Brave men and women have fought for America's freedom. Members of the armed forces--the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force, and the Coast Guard have defended and protected our country through many wars. Veterans are men and women who have fought in a war.

What are veterans?
Name the branches of the armed forces of the United States:
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Americans are grateful to these brave people, many of whom have given their lives to protect our rights and freedoms. We celebrate them each year on Veterans Day.

What is the purpose of Veterans Day?

Between 1914 and 1918, the United States and its allies, Britain, France, Italy, and Russia fought against Germany and other countries. This was called World War I. The holiday we call Veterans Day began after this war.

When did World War I take place?
Which countries fought with the United States?
Name a country that the United States fought against in World War I?

The war ended on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:00. There was an armistice. Our country celebrated the end of the war and the many soldiers who fought for our country on each November 11. The holiday was first called Armistice Day.

What was Veterans Day once called?

Many years and many wars later, people realized it was not enough to celebrate just the heroes of one war, so President Eisenhower signed a bill to name this day Veterans Day.

There are many different ways to celebrate the lives of the special men and women who have fought in our wars. We have parades. We put flowers on the graves of soldiers. We buy paper poppy flowers (in memory of a very bloody battle in Flanders in a field of poppies) to help support our veterans.

Name 3 things we do to celebrate and support our veterans on their special day.
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And... there is a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, where unknown soldiers from many wars are buried under these words:

He rests in honored glory
An American soldier known but to God

(What do you think the word "but" means in the sentence above?)

Everyone is silent for two minutes, starting a 11:00 AM on November 11, to honor those who died.
And the bugle song Taps is played as a final way to say goodbye.
Click here to hear Taps again. Read the words below.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Fading light, dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar, drawing nigh, falls the night.

Thanks and praise, for our days,
'Neath the sun, 'neath the stars, neath the sky;
As we go, this we know, God is nigh.

Sun has set, shadows come,
Time has fled, Scouts must go to their beds
Always true to the promise that they made.

While the light fades from sight,
And the stars gleaming rays softly send,
To thy hands we our souls, Lord, commend.